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Theotis Robinson, retired vice president for equity and diversity at the University of Tennessee, was an active witness to major changes in Knoxville’s history, and holds several firsts. He first appeared in the news in 1960, when his application to attend the University of Tennessee caused a stir; he was admitted in early 1961, one of the first three African American undergrads to attend. In 1970, he became the first African American member of Knoxville’s City Council since 1912. He’ll explain what had to change to make that happen, and the consequences of the fact that it did happen. He served as an especially influential councilman for most of the 1970s, when the police department began opening its higher offices to Black policemen, Knoxville saw the last of urban renewal, and a now-forgotten highway project almost sliced through predominantly African American East Knoxville. All while Knoxville was talking about hosting a World’s Fair. Robinson was involved in all of that, and as a rare witness to history, he’ll share his experiences with us.